The sun rose high in the sky. Birds began to chirp, and the streets became congested with heavy morning traffic. Strips of sunlight spread across the living room. On the couch, two figures were serenely asleep in their own blissful world.
After Kris’s heartfelt confession last night and Jungah had checked her heart, the two had fallen asleep on her couch. She was sitting between his legs with her back aligned with his chest and her head resting against his shoulder. His arms were lightly cradling her with his right arm protectively over her healing one. His back was to the arm of the couch and his head lay against the cool leather.
Their hearts drummed steadily as one, and they were both engulfed by the peaceful, beautiful moment.
The sun rose a little higher, causing the sunlight to hit Jungah directly in the face. Her face scrunched up at the sudden burst of light. *What the heck?* Her eyes fluttered open and met directly with the sunlight. *Aish.* She squirmed in annoyance then stopped. Her eyes rounded in alarm. *Hold up. I’m not in my bed.*
Jungah shifted her gaze downwards to see a foreign pair of arms around her. The hair on her back bristled in warning. Slowly, she turned her head and stopped. *Kris.*
The events from last night came reeling back into her mind at once.
The gift. The confession. The kiss.
The last memory made her cheeks flush hotly. *So I wasn’t dreaking. He really did confess to me…and I really did accept him.*
Jungah looked down at Kris’ right hand draped over her own right hand. Their rings dazzled in the sunlight. A soft, warm look came upon her face, and she lightly d their rings. *So pretty.* Jungah glanced back, and her expression softened even more. *Huh. Strange how he looks even better when sleeping.* He was like a serene, handsome sleeping prince.
She had a strong urge to touch his pale cheek.
*Just one poke…* Jungah reached out.
At that moment, his eyebrows furrowed, and he began to stir.
*!* Her eyes widened in alarm. She looked around in panic. *What the hell do I do?! If he wakes up and he sees that I’m awake, I’m scrwed!* She couldn’t pick which one was worse.
The awkward silence or his satisfied smirk.
Right before his eyes opened, her body reacted by slumping back against him and feigning sleepiness. She hoped he wouldn’t feel her racing heart. *Just don’t move.* Her eyebrow twitched, and she bit her bottom lip once.
Jungah felt Kris waking up. She acted as if she was asleep. *Please don’t let him find out that I’m awake! Crap! ! I hate this acting !*
Kris opened his eyes. He looked around the room and rubbed his groggy eye. *Where am I?* Kris looked down and saw Jungah ‘fast asleep’. His face lit up in recognition. *Han Jungah.* Kris glanced down at his hand with a warm smile. *So I wasn’t dreaming. You really are mine now.* Surreal happiness and warmth stretched across his stiff body. His arm felt numb from holding Jungah all night long, but he didn’t even mind since his happiness overrode the feeling.
*What time is it?* Kris glanced at his watch. *Crap. I hate it, but I have to go. I don’t want to postpone the deals anymore.* Very attentively and quietly, Kris slid out from behind Jungah. Her eyebrows slightly pinched together in together. *Where is he going?*
With great care, Kris took her upperbody and lay her down flatly on the couch with a cushion to support her head. Jungah didn’t feel any movement. Yet, she could feel his shadow looming over her. *I can’t stand it. If he keeps standing there, I’m going to explode! I’ll give away my act soon. .* Jungah squirmed a bit.
Kris touched her forehead, and she clammed up. “Jungah.” He whispered.
*Crap! ! Did he find out?! . I knew I was a horrible actress.* She thought. Before she could admit her pathetic attempt to act asleep, Kris softly spoke, “Happy 19th birthday. Wo ai ni.”
Her cheeks warmed. *I’m pretty sure that means ‘I love you’…no?*
Kris bent down, tenderly kissed her forehead, and straightened up. He slipped his jacket on and left the apartment.
When Jungah heard the faint click of the door closing, she opened her eyes. Jungah pressed her palm against her forehead, and her heart fluttered. *This is going to need some getting used to.*
Zico texted her a silly ‘Happy Birthday’ message.
Feeling unusually cheerful, Jungah spent a carefree afternoon at the market, shopping, and experimenting with the different birthday presents she had received the night before.
Late into the night, Jungah received an unexpected text message. She stopped folding her laundry and walked over to the dresser where her phone was. *Who can it be?* She saw the name ‘Kris’, and her heart did a flip-flop. Quickly, she checked the message.
‘Come out to your balcony.’
“My balcony…what the . Why?” Scratching her head, Jungah left her bedroom and opened the door to her small patio. She opened the glass window and peered below. *I don’t see anything…oh, wait.* She spotted Kris’s orange car waiting below.
The door opened, and Kris stepped out of the car. He looked up and fixed his eyes on her. Not looking away, he walked around the car and leaned against the hood of his car.
Jungah raised an eyebrow. *What game is he playing?* She dialed his number and pressed the phone against her ear.
Kris pulled out his phone from his pocket, and without checking, put it to his ear.
“What are you doing here?” Jungah questioned.
“Do I need an excuse to come see my girl?” Kris asked.
Jungah’s face turned a fierce shade of crimson. “You’re blushing. I can see the redness from all the way down here.” He grinned. “Shut your mouth. You don’t see anything.” She snapped as she stepped away from the light.
“That’s what I admire about you, Han Jungah. You keep your attitude even when you’re in love.” Kris chuckled.
“Whoever said I was in love? You confessed last night, not me.” Jungah snorted.
Kris squinted his eyes and scrutinized her, “Where’s your ring? Did you take it off already?”
Jungah rolled her eyes. She held up her right hand and made a face, “There. Happy?”
Kris laughed, “Yeah, I am.” His eyes softened as he gazed up at her.
“Psh.” Jungah couldn’t help but crack a smile. She rested her arms on the railing.
“Careful. Your right arm is still broken.” Kris said.
“I know that, genius.” Yet, Jungah couldn’t help but feel grateful for his concern.
“When are you taking your cast off?” He asked. “Next week.” She said.
“Then I’ll be there with you when you take it off.” Kris said. “No, thanks.” Jungah declined his offer bluntly.
“Will you be so rude to your boyfriend who won’t be at school for the rest of the week?” He questioned.
Her face fell, and her shoulders deflated at once. “…Wh-where are you going?”
“Family business trip.” It wasn’t exactly a lie. He had to go to Japan for a while for Liang. Duty called, and he couldn’t neglect it this time. No matter how much he wanted to stay with his new girlfriend.
“Of course. I hope your parents know you’re failing for missing so much school.” Jungah snapped, a little too bitterly.
“I have better grades than you, so don’t worry.” Kris assured.
“Aish.” She growled, and he chuckled.
“Han Jungah.” Kris called. He loved that name. It fell perfectly from his lips. “What?” Jungah dryly responded.
“…You can take care of yourself for this week, right? Without me by your side?” Kris asked as he gazed directly up at her. Jungah’s expression softened. She hid her soft side with a gruff clear of the throat, “Of course. I lived well before you were by my side. I can take care of myself.”
“That . I guess I’m the only one who is going to suffer this week.” Kris sat on the hood of his car and slipped his hand into the pocket of his jeans. She stared at him. His gaze held hers, “I’ll miss every second that I’m not with you.” He gave her a soft, small smile that weakened her knees.
Her heart swelled up with joy at those simple, but meaningful words. Blood rushed through her body making her feel hot and flushed.*Aish. What is wrong with me? I’m not someone who gets so easily swayed by words. This guy has seriously bewitched me.* Jungah shifted her eyes back to him.
“I’m going to go.” Kris said.
*Already?* Jungah took a step forward, and the toes of her sneakers touched the metal railing.
Kris tilted his head slightly and probed her eyes, “Do you want me to go?”
*No. Not yet. Maybe not ever.* Jungah reluctantly stepped back and darted her gaze everywhere but at him. “Yeah, go. Have fun on your…business trip or whatever.” She mumbled.
“Thanks…” Kris straightened up and hung up.
Jungah stared at her phone in disappointment and irritation. *Yeah, hang up without a goodbye, why don’t you?! Jerk!* She flashed her angry eyes at him.
Kris gave her a sweet smile, winked, and headed to the driver’s seat.
Jungah got on her tippy toes and craned her neck since the lamppost obscured her view of him.
Kris stepped out so that she could see him better. Jungah spun around and averted her gaze with crimson cheeks. She tried to look as cool and calm as possible.
Kris chuckled and shook his head. *You fool. I can tell you’re going to miss me. Can’t you just tell me what’s really going on through your mind?* He took out his phone and messaged her.
Jungah checked it right away.
‘SA. RANG. HAE.’
Her lips threatened to broaden into a wide smile. *No!* She placed her fingers over her lips to keep them from stretching widely.
Jungah dared a glance his way.
Kris was in his car, and he was gazing at her through the window. He gave her a wave. She waved back.
“Sweet dreams, my Han Jungah.” Kris whispered. Then with a sigh of content, he backed out of the parking lot.
Jungah watched his car disappear from view. “Kris…wo ai ni…” Jungah whispered to the mild wind. With a big, warm smile, she went back inside.